Day #114 – Off to Isle Royale National Park!

LOCATION:  Isle Royale National Park.  About 40 miles across Lake Superior from Copper Harbor, MI
CAMPGROUND:  Isle Royale Lodge.  Rustic, basic, clean, with beautiful views of the lake.
WEATHER:  Cool in the AM (50).  Warmer by mid-day (60), and then toasty (70) when hiking inland

We got up at the crack of dawn at the state park where we are camping.  We left Joy there for the day/night, and headed to Copper Harbor where we picked up the ferry over to Isle Royale.

We boarded at 7:00 AM, and took off.  This is the view of the cute harbor there.

The ferry takes 4 hours to crosss over to the island.  We were lucky with smooth sailing.  It can be very choppy!  There is another ferry from Houghton that takes 6 hours.  You can also get here by ferry from Minnesota, or by a sea plane. 

We shared a pasty for breakfast during the ferry ride.  This one holds true to the tradition…contains rutabaga.

Here is our first view of the island…..sort of….

Here we are approaching the visitor center and dock – in Snug Harbor

The ranger gave us an orientation.  Most of the ferry boat riders are backpackers, loaded down to hike out to the back country to camp.  A few of us (the older set) were oriented to the lodge….:-) 

After checking in at the lodge, we set off for a 4-mile hike.  The trail followed the coast and was quite rocky.

It was slow-going (4 hours), partly because George stopped to fish every few feet!

The wild flowers are beautiful.  These are a kind of wild marigold.

The end point, before making the loop back, was an old cave

The hike ended in a harbor where the sea plane takes off and lands.  A little dingy took off to return to its yacht (in the far upper left corner of the photo) after the owners had come over to the island’s camp store for some supplies

Of course, George had to try the fishing one last time

We watched a seaplane take off

When we got back to our “home” – Snug Harbor, we saw the other ferry, much larger, that had arrived from Houghton.  The lodge does not seem very crowded, but I talked to some people that could not get a room.  We learned it is because they are at 50% capacity, due to Covid precautions. 

DINNER:  We got a take-out pizza from the grill and took it to our room to eat.   We have a little dining table that faces the lake.  Definitely a room with a view!

Due to our early morning and our exhausting hike, we were asleep by about 8:00!  We kept the windows open so we could hear the waves lapping against the rocks under our room.  Bliss!

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